Ohhhh, Twitter. She had a good run.
I am going to preface all of this by saying that Twitter never worked well for my business (my fault!), so I abandoned my Websy Daisy account some years ago. But I was still using my personal account to follow news and people I liked. Once Twitter became X, the tone of everything changed, and the bots took over, I decided to deactivate my personal account as well.
However, a LOT of my clients have used Twitter as their main social media presence for years, have large followings, and have typically enjoyed a lot of interaction on there, so it’s a bigger deal for them. I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about what to do now that Twitter is X.
Option 1: Do Nothing
Just go about your business as usual and pretend X is still Twitter. As long as you still have a big following and are still seeing that interaction, nobody is going to make you leave.
A few people have asked if they should change the icon on their site from the Twitter bird to the X, and I personally would hold off on that. The bird is instantly recognizable and just has a friendlier vibe. 😉 If X sticks around, shakes off its negative press, and becomes more instantly recognizable, then you will need to consider updating it.
BUT, even if you decide to stick it out with Twitter/X, I would recommend testing the waters with some of the other platforms (more on those below) that are all vying to replace Twitter. Maybe check with your followers to see what platforms THEY are trying and moving to. You don’t need to start sending people to your pages on those other platforms—just test them out, see what you like, see how much interaction there is there right now, see if any of your community is there. That way if one of them becomes the frontrunner and Twitter/X goes down in flames, you have a presence and some content there already.
Option 2: Jump Ship
A few people have told me that Twitter/X no longer feels like a place they want to be associated with, and I get it. And maybe it was never a valuable tool for some of them to begin with.
If you decide to just cut ties now, that might be the end of the story. If you use other established platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok) already and you feel like they cover your needs adequately, then you have just made your life easier — one less thing to do!
However, what if Twitter filled a need for you that needs to be replaced? There are many options right now, and no clear winner. You don’t want to commit to something and put a lot of time and energy into it only to see it go away or never really take off.
And I don’t have a definitive answer for you, only guesses. Below is my gut on the alternatives I have seen out there so far. And I have no doubt many will disagree with my gut. 😉 My views will likely change over time as we see what happens. But here is where my mind is right now:
Bluesky: This is the platform developed by Jack Dorsey, one of the original co-founders of Twitter. It has the potential to be the closest to the Twitter of yore. But I don’t know for sure because it is currently invite-only and I have not been invited. I think there is a real possibility that Bluesky has missed its moment by remaining hidden to most right when so many people are fleeing Twitter. There are only so many times anyone is going to move platforms.
Threads: This is the Meta offering, connected to Instagram. It is still in its infancy and still adding features, but their timing was spot on. They got it out there and easy to join (IF you had Instagram already) right at the moment that people wanted out of Twitter. I am on it (just a personal account) and gradually more and more of the accounts I followed on Twitter are showing up there. I think that once they open it up to people who are not on Instagram, and get more features in place, it could be a real contender.
Mastodon: People who like Mastodon seem to LOVE Mastodon. When I first tried to join it, the first thing I had to do was choose a server … and most people bailed at that point. I freely admit, as a web person who has no fear of servers, I bailed at that point, too. But they have done away with that hurdle to view it, and I have been giving it a try. It is not pretty, and I am not seeing any of the people I followed on Twitter there. There might be more of a learning curve to it than most people want. But there are some communities for whom it is or will become an important space. If you belong to or need to interact with those communities, then dive right in!
And there are more … Counter.Social, Diaspora, Spoutible, and others on the way, but I don’t think any of them really have enough traction to unseat the ones above. (There are even more apps that are not really Twitter alternatives, like the long-form posting on Post.)
How do you choose??
Honestly, I don’t think you do yet. I think we are still in a trial period to see how the various platforms deal with bots and hate speech, what features they can eventually offer, how easy they are to use, and … just where the most people land and start engaging. None of them will immediately (or maybe ever) be what Twitter was. If you want or need a Twitter alternative, spend some time on each (that is, if you can get invited to Bluesky), but don’t pass judgment right away. It will be a while before we know if one is the clear winner.